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Lucha: Underground – July 15th, 2015

The summer reaches its peak as the temperature inside the Temple gets critical.

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The focus for weeks has been the super-card that is Ultima Lucha, coming up on August 5th. The main event sees a face to face confrontation between the participants of the championship main event match; Prince Puma and Mil Muertes. Also, the challenge set forth by Pentagon Jr. to colour commentator and industry veteran Vampiro is addressed this week. And finally, Dario Cueto puts a spotlight on the seven ancient tribal medallions. Of the four which are still up for grabs, three will be given away by the end of the show. Who will join Aerostar, Jack Evans and Fenix? Stay tuned…

THE RUN-DOWN:

  • Dario pores over the four remaining medallions on his desk to Pentagon Jr., but Pentagon is uninterested. He is, instead, bent on destroying Ian Hodgkinson.
  • Medallion match – Bengala vs DelAvar Daivari (with Big Ryck): Ryck interference backfires and hits Daivari instead. Bengala hits a German suplex pin to get the victory.
  • Vampiro addresses Pentagon Jr in the ring. He resists at first, but ultimately accepts the challenge for Ultima Lucha. He delivers a big slam to Pentagon, crowd blows up.
  • Medallion match – King Cuerno vs Killshot: Cuerno wins with bow submission.
  • Medallion match – Sexy Star vs Superfly: armbar in less than a minute, Star wins. Immediately post-match, Marty the Moth says medallion belongs to his ancestors and demands a chance to win it for his people.
  • Medallion match – Marty “the Moth” Martinez vs Sexy Star: Star cinches in another armbar and gets submission victory.
  • Dario Cueto brings in Prince Puma and Mil Muertes for a face to face confrontation. Catrina interrupts as the Disciples of Death wheel out a coffin. Puma gets beaten down until Konnan makes the save. Muertes takes Konnan’s cane and uses it on tecnicos. Catrina knocks out Konnan with sacred stone and the rudos put him in coffin as Muertes forces Puma to watch before hitting the flatliner on him. Muertes stands tall to close the show.

ANALYSIS:

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  • The opening match between colourful (and adorable) newcomer Bengala and the rudo extraordinaire, Daivari, was entertaining and comparatively light amidst the heavy rivalries abound as everyone heads toward Ultima. This theme would repeat during the night, and one senses the presence of a palette cleanser before things really get intense in the coming weeks.

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  • Bengala has some good moves, and is earning himself a popular following in the Temple. Daivari, conversely, is garnering some serious rudo heat and genuine disdain from the people of the crowd. He is giving more as a character, and he is beginning to get the flow and pacing of the lucha style, but he’s far from being able to carry a match. He benefits from a pairing with quick and exciting luchadores like Bengala. The miscommunication at the end of the match with Big Ryck was severe and, some might say, a bit staged. It gave the impression that Ryck had at least an inkling that he knew he has clocking his meal ticket and did it anyway. This angle wasn’t played up in the aftermath, and no dissension was teased, but I wouldn’t be surprised to see more of these incidents occurring until some boiling point is reached.

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  • The confrontation between Vampiro and Pentagon was helped by the energy of the crowd. Pentagon is a fantastic talker, I’ve not seen anyone on the roster – except maybe Alberto El Patron – who can match his intensity. Vampiro’s big fake out moment was well-played, but his ultimate reveal could have landed a bit harder – possibly, if he hadn’t used crude slang. “The guy who’s gonna kick your ass” sounded like it belonged fifteen years ago in the Attitude Era, or possibly in a schoolyard fight.

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  • Last week, this rivalry left on a very dark note with Pentagon dowsing the veteran in gasoline and threatening to burn him alive, and this segment ended in a way that was a bit lighter, a bit more showy. If Vampiro can channel the darkness and violence he had back in the day and match Pentagon’s intensity, this feud could be epic.

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  • King Cuerno and Killshot had the best match of the night, but that isn’t really saying a whole lot. Killshot continues to wow the crowd with inventive offensive moves, although his execution can be a bit clunky, particularly his transitions. He comes off as inexperienced, but motivated.

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  • Cuerno countered Killshot’s youthful zeal with a methodical, calculated pace, and Striker as always really sold him as the “thinking man’s lucha”. Cuerno winning clean and having the crowd behind him for the majority of the bout leads one to think he is going tecnico, but we’ll see what kind of program he enters next.

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  • For all the backstory and build behind Sexy Star and Superfly, the match itself was over in a flash. There was no post-match attack, no handshake, no promos cut – Star simply tapped Fly out and he rolled away defeated. The rivalry between former friends and bitter enemies seems to be over, and unceremoniously at that.

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  • Marty the Moth hammed it up and was entertaining as hell, as he always is, but the match wasn’t much more substantial than the first quick tap-out. No real conflict, no danger, no big storyline in play here – this segment seemed all about making Sexy Star look strong. This is possibly to counter the outcome of last week’s Tag Team Atomico main event, when she was pinned by Johnny Mundo causing a loss for El Patron’s team.

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  • The final segment of the night was built on a flimsy premise, and was a poorly veiled excuse to get the opponents together to stage a happening. This was like WWE and TNA’s “contract signing” shmozzes, without the contract signing. That being said, it achieved what it set out to do: it set the stage for Ultima Lucha’s main event.

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  • The show’s ending put the champion in a state of peril which has never before been seen, with Konnan dramatically laid out inside a coffin and the Prince flat on his back. Muertes and his disciples, at the command and under the control of Catrina, are the biggest threat to Puma’s title reign. The match promises to be a fight in the classic style of lucha libre, with most enmascaradas perfectly playing out the opposing forces of good an evil.

Photos copyright El Rey Network.

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